This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
With a record of 33-45 and currently last in their division, it's fair to say that the Bees aren't having the season they hoped for.
But Jeff Baisley is.
The Tampa, Fla., native is having one of the best seasons of his career, and he believes it is all due to keeping things simple and finally being healthy.
"I didn't expect it coming out of spring training," said Baisley. "I knew I was capable of it, but I haven't really had a full healthy season since 2006, so its fun to put up numbers like I'm doing. Hopefully I can keep it up."
The third baseman is leading the Bees in almost every offensive category, with 56 runs, 91 hits, 59 RBIs, 16 home runs and a slugging percentage of .553, all while hitting .317. During this past weekend's home stand against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, the right-handed slugger had five hits, four RBIs and a home run, giving him his 26th multiple-hit game of the season and ninth game with three or more hits.
"My strikeouts are down compared to last year, and I'm seeing the ball better," said Baisley, who went 1-for-4 and scored two runs in the Bees' 11-10 loss to the Sky Sox on Sunday. "Coming into the season, I really didn't have any expectations and just wanted to let it come to me."
Bees hitting coach Jim Eppard has been working with Baisley consistently and has always preached simplicity. Understanding that less is more when it comes to hitting, Eppard focuses on the fundamentals and tries not to make things too complicated.
"We've just been keeping things really simple," said Eppard. "I just thought that there were a couple of things that he was doing in practice that weren't really allowing him to be a competitive hitter during the game like he could be. So I mentioned them to him, he did them and he's been doing well all season long."
Baisley has had a couple of short stints in the majors, but has spent the majority of his career in the minors since being drafted in 2005. With the Triple-A All-Star Game being held in Salt Lake this season, Bailsey says it would be an honor to make the team, but his main objective is making it back to the majors.
"Once you get that first taste, you know what it's about," said Baisley. "It's not that Salt Lake is bad, because Salt Lake and Triple-A are good, and I'm proud of myself for being here. But it's not the ultimate goal."
With a little more than two months left in the season, Baisley is focused on doing everything he possibly can to make the Angels' 40-man roster before the year ends.
"I'm just going to go out there and do what I do, and hopefully somebody in Anaheim takes notice."
Colorado Springs gets break, beats Salt Lake
An unearned run in the top of the ninth inning gave the Colorado Springs Sky Sox an 11-10 win over the Salt Lake Bees in a Pacific Coast League game on Sunday afternoon. Salt Lake reliever Ian Stewart's throwing error on a sacrifice-bunt attempt allowed Ian Stewart to score from first base.
The Bees' Tyson Auer had tied the game in the bottom of the eighth with his first home run of the season.